This is Mic's guide to an America divided — and how it affects you.
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— 50, the number of days until Trump becomes the next president.
Today: Trump kicks off his "Thank America" tour in Ohio.
More: No further cabinet nominations are expected this week.
Even More: Nancy Pelosi was re-elected House minority leader. More than two-thirds of Democrats supported Pelosi, a progressive but establishment pick to lead the party into Trump's America.
Yes, Really There's More: Keith Ellison revealed his blueprint for Democrats to take back the country.
Where's Trump? Appearing at a factory in Indianapolis at 2 p.m. Eastern and a rally in Cincinnati at 7 p.m.Eastern.
Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote: TKTKKT
Trump begins tour of middle America to say "thank you"
In Donald Trump's longtime home of Manhattan, the president-elect won just 10% of votes. So when Trump heads to Ohio Thursday night, visiting a state he won by nine percentage points, the next president may find he feels more at home in the Midwest than in New York City.
Since Ohioans and other Rust Belt voters sent Trump to the White House, he has been criticized for appointing billionaires to his cabinet, conflicts of interest, irresponsible tweeting and more. But if the campaign is any indicator, Trump will find a large assemblage of supporters waiting for him in Cincinnati. And there is scant evidence to suggest support for Trump has fallen more than three weeks after the election.
Americans have more confidence in the economy than at any point in the last nine years. Surveys show Trump's favorability ticking upward, with a majority of Americans confident in his ability to lead. And yes, Trump has yet to actually do anything in government. With 50 days until he becomes the next president, Trump's tour and other moves lay the groundwork to move aggressively after his inauguration. The president-elect will go live with Sean Hannity of Fox News after his rally.
What to know about Trump's "deal" with Carrier
1,000 workers in Indiana will continue to produce air conditioning units after the intervention of Trump on their behalf — or so the initial media narrative went. The reality is murkier, and Trump's approach might actually be setting a dangerous precedent. (Mic) Trump and Pence reportedly offered Carrier's parent company $700,000 a year in state tax incentives to remain, Fortune reported Wednesday. That's troubling because "instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut ... In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won." (Washington Post) To Bernie Sanders' point, Indiana reportedly gave Carrier a $7 million tax break for keeping the jobs in-state. (Wall Street Journal)
This is to be expected with Trump: He wants to more than halve America's tax rate on corporations, hoping to keep companies in the country with an expected loss of billions in tax revenue. When Trump released his tax proposal last year, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said it would cut $9.5 trillion in federal revenue over a decade. That means either our deficit will spike or federal programs — many of which support poor and middle class Americans — will need big cuts.
Trump's influence on Carrier's decision to keep jobs in the U.S. reveals an uncertain game plan: Use incentives and tax cuts to keep companies in the country, and hope companies grow jobs and revenue to make up for unsustainable cuts to federal revenue. In the meantime, count on Trump to keep tweeting.
Wall Street links, conflicts of interest swirl around Trump
Count Elizabeth Warren as displeased by Trump's pick for Treasury secretary. The Democratic Massachusetts senator blasted Trump's hire of Steve Mnuchin to oversee the American economy and regulation of the nation's banks. She called him the "Forrest Gump of the financial crisis" and said he helped cause the Great Recession.
Mnuchin did profit handsomely off of families whose homes were foreclosed on during the housing crisis. (Mic) Mnuchin ran a bank that has been a called a "foreclosure machine" and was a partner at Goldman Sachs, a bank associated with some of the riskiest moves during the financial crisis. (NPR) And while he has no government experience, Mnuchin did lead Trump's national finance operation during the campaign.
After Wednesday morning's tweetstorm aimed at clearing up his conflict of interest issues, Trump has yet to shake criticism. BuzzFeed reported Wednesday that Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel received a $32 million tax break six days after he won the election. (If Trump holds any stake in that hotel come Jan. 20, he may be breaking his lease with the government. (NBC News))
And Trump's messages managed to draw a tweetstorm out of the Office of Government Ethics, the federal agency tasked with overseeing conflicts of interest in the executive branch. The agency praised Trump while pressuring him to divest all his wealth — something the president-elect has not said he will do. (Mic)
News and insight you cannot miss:
— Did Americans elect Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders? There will reportedly be no net tax cut for wealthy Americans under the Trump administration, with a cut in tax rates balanced out by the elimination of deductions, the president-elect's pick for Treasury secretary said Wednesday. But the veracity of that statement is unclear, as tax analysts have said the wealthy will benefit far more from an income tax cut than a loss of deductions. (Wall Street Journal)
— The inflation-adjusted net worth of George W. Bush's entire cabinet in 2001 was $250 million. That is roughly one-tenth of what Trump's commerce secretary is worth. (Mic)
— Several people living with HIV spoke to Mic about what they fear from the upcoming administration and how they'll resist. On National AIDS Day, they tell Mic why they worry Trump's policies on health care, housing, immigration, civil rights and more may complicate living with HIV. (Mic)
— The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House on Wednesday. The bill would add nearly $5 billion dollars to research into understanding the brain and curing cancer. It will also provide $1 billion at the state level to fight opioid addiction. (STAT) But the funding comes with strings: To ensure the bill would pass, Congress cut regulations on the pharmaceutical industry — the group that fueled America's addiction to painkillers. (Huffington Post)
— So far, four of Trump's cabinet picks have a history of racism or xenophobia. The latest addition: Mnuchin, for his time heading a company that is being sued for discriminating against black and Latino mortgage applicants. (Mic)
— Recount efforts continue: Jill Stein filed for a recount of Michigan's 4.8 million presidential ballots. Her crowdfunding will cover nearly $1 million of the recount costs, while the state will pay for the rest. (Free Press)
A view from Trump country: Trump supporters and Obamacare
With the nomination of Georgia Congressman Tom Price to run Health and Human Services, many expect a wholesale gutting of the Affordable Care Act. Price, Trump and Republicans writ large have planned to "repeal and replace" the program for years. But where would the impact of that repeal hit home the most? Trump country.
— In Washington state, where Clinton won by 16 percentage points, "nine of the top 10 counties where the Affordable Care Act reduced the ranks of the uninsured the most also voted for Trump," writes Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat.
— NPR recently profiled residents of Kentucky's rural Clay County who are on Medicaid and benefitted from the federal program's expansion under Barack Obama's law. Only 11% of the county's residents voted for Clinton, who said she would preserve the law.
— In Wisconsin, where Trump lodged a historic win, residents of counties Trump won "enroll in the Affordable Care Act's private health insurance exchange at a higher rate than ... counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton," the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found.
Nationwide, people who gained health coverage or subsidies under Obamacare voted for Trump, the candidate who said he would kill a reform that provides many of these voters with insurance. Whether these Americans voted against their own interests is debatable. Some would argue that health costs are still too expensive and rising rapidly, something Trump has said he will fix. But regardless of opinion on the law, that this election demonstrated the political failure of its passage cannot be argued. And it presents a cautionary tale for the Republicans in control of the government as they debate how to change the law without cutting benefits to voters who supported them.
Same subject, two views: Two sides to Trump's Carrier deal
The Carrier deal is proof that Trump is already making America great again, Liz Peek in Fox News: "This unexpected win is why the stock market has been soaring since the election, and why consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in over nine years in the past month, in spite of the incessant gloom broadcast by the liberal media. This is why voters elected Trump, upending politics as usual. And it's just the beginning." (Fox News)
The bad economics of Trump's Carrier deal, James Pethokoukis in The Week: "This is all terrible for a nation's economic vitality if businesses make decisions to please politicians rather than customers and shareholders. ... Imagine business after business, year after year, making decisions based partly on pleasing the Trump White House." (The Week)
The loyal opposition: Pelosi wins — and what rumors conservatives are fueling against Keith Ellison
Nancy Pelosi maintained control of the House Democratic Caucus Wednesday, becoming Minority Leader again and remaining consistent leader of the party in the House since 2003. While 63 Democrats voted against her, Pelosi still secured the support of more than two-thirds of the caucus. (Mic)
With one Democratic leadership battle finished, focus shifts to who will emerge to run the Democratic National Committee. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim-American and progressive Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary, is considered the frontrunner. Aware of his status, conservative news outlets are shopping any opposition they can find to Ellison. An online Jewish newspaper says Ellison believes "Israel controls U.S. policy." The Washington Free Beacon says Ellison met with a radical Islamic cleric and the head of a bank that funds suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia. The Daily Caller reports Ellison once called for a separate "blacks-only" nation in the U.S. and reparations for slavery.
These are not fake news websites, though verifying the authenticity of each claim is difficult. It is notable that the wider media has yet to pick up many of these accusations. The broader point: Conservatives are targeting Ellison's roots as a minority and a Muslim to counter his bid to lead the Democratic party. Sound familiar?
Thursday morning, Ellison revealed his plan for Democrats to win at the local, state and national levels. Ellison wants to focus on state and local Democratic parties, grow grassroots fundraising and partnerships with unions, communicate more directly and organize better in the field. Read his platform for the DNC here.
— These quotes from a call between Trump and the prime minister of Pakistan are a must-read. "Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people." (Government of Pakistan)
— ICMYI: In 2000, Jeff Sessions said he does not think children with disabilities should be mainstreamed. Trump's nominee for attorney general said on the Senate floor that special treatment for these children accelerated a "decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America." (Huffington Post)
— Seven Senators sent Obama a letter saying he needs to declassify information about how Russia interfered in the election. (Reuters' Dustin Volz)
— How do Democrats think they can win the PR battle early in Trump's tenure? Bitterly and publicly oppose any Republican attempt to reform Medicare. (New York Times)
— Thought the federal government was forgiving $100 billion in student loans? It's not that simple. (Mic)
— The attacker at Ohio State University expressed concerns over his ability to pray openly on campus a few months before he committed this week's violent attack. The man, a Muslim and Somali refugee, was in the U.S. legally studying at the university. Another Ohio State student who interviewed Abdul Razak Ali Artan wrote about the experience in the Washington Post.
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This newsletter is produced by Will Drabold at Mic. Thank you for reading.